During the opening round of Saturday’s UFC 165 main-event, it appeared that the summer of 2013 was going to go down as the summer of UFC Championship upsets.
Earlier this summer, Chris Weidman stunned Anderson Silva, the most dominant UFC champion of all-time, to win the coveted Middleweight Championship. And on Saturday, the final day of summer, Alexander Gustafsson appeared en route to defeating the seemingly-unbeatable Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones.
In addition to outstriking Jones in the opening 5 minutes, Gustafsson even scored a takedown against the dominant wrestler, proving he was far better than the enormously long odds suggested he was. He was in the fight to win.
Gustafsson traded some of his advantage away in a close second round, but he came back with a force at the beginning of round three. And, after surviving a barrage of elbows and knees in round four, Gustafsson appeared to be entering the final round in a dead heat with “Bones.” No one has previously been able to say the same.
Unfortunately for Gustafsson, Jones decided to mirror boxing champ Floyd Mayweather’s dominance rather than Silva’s vulnerability by turning it up in the final frame. Jones scored a takedown–his first of the fight–and seemed to finally break apart Gustafsson, whose body language reflected the impact of a grueling fight. Gustafsson stayed in the fight, and even scored some strikes of his own late in the round, but he definitely failed to secure a necessary fifth round.
The judges found in favor of champion Jon Jones (48-47, 48-47 and 49-46), but in being pushed to the limit, Jones was made aware that his dominance at light heavyweight is not as certain as he likely believed.
UFC 165 Results
Daniel Omielanczuk def. Nandor Guelmino via KO (punches) – at 3:18 of Round 3
Alex Caceres def. Roland Delorme via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Michel Prazeres def. Jesse Ronson via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
John Makdessi def. Renee Forte via KO (punches) at 2:01 of Round 1
Mitch Gagnon def. Dustin Kimura via submission (guillotine) at 4:05 of Round 1
Stephen Thompson def. Chris Clements via KO (punches) at 1:27 of Round 2
Wilson Reis def. Ivan Menjivar via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Myles Jury def. Mike Ricci via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Pat Healy via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Francis Carmont def. Constantinos Philippou via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Brendan Schaub def. Matt Mitrione via submission (D’Arce) at 4:06 of Round 1
Renan Barao def. Eddie Wineland via TKO (spinning back kick, punches) at :35 of Round 2
Jon Jones def. Alexander Gustafsson via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)